Places to Go - Burke Nursery's Pumpkin Playground (Burke, VA)


Tuesday started out as a blah day. First of all, we had to take P to the doctor for her asthma, which always makes me sad (I know a ton of other parents have had to face the same issue, but it's really scary when your kid can't breathe). Then T cried all morning. And one of F's headbands broke (always a tragedy). I wanted to quit.

So when my friend called me asking to go to Burke Nursery's Pumpkin Playground, I was ready for just about anything that would get me out of the house and around other adults. Luckily, Burke's Pumpkin Playground was so awesome (yes, I'm in my thirties and I still use the word awesome, it's a sad state of affairs), that we ended up spending all afternoon there. It is VERY VERY similar to Cox Farms, but on a much smaller scale, making it much more manageable if you have multiple small children. As with Cox, there are slides, a rope swing, a haunted forest hayride, petting zoo, etc. Burke also has these large tubes that kids can roll down a small hill in (the older kids could have spent all day in these). For T, the biggest hit was those riding machines they usually have in malls (you know the type, they sort of gyrate), anyways they had tons of these (a carousel, horses, a car, a motorcyle, etc.) all FOR FREE. the kids could just push the button again and again. They also have food and pumpkins and tons of cheesy decorations. Totally worth the $9 admission ($12 on weekends). But it closes after Halloween, so if you're interested, you need to get there asap.

Have a great holiday everyone! Don't eat too much candy! I'll be back on Monday.

If you need some inspiration, this 8 year old boy's description of fall is just too perfect. Plus, his mom's pictures are pretty amazing as well.



Things to Read Thursday - Amazing Photography Blogs III - The Blue Hour & Wishful Thinking

For the last two Thursdays, I've hosted a series on Amazing Photography Blogs. Today's post marks the final installment (though tune in next week for more exciting things to read in book format). Today's bloggers take ordinary things and make them into extraordinary photographs, in a way that often leaves you thinking "wow, I never saw it like that." Enough said, truly great photos below.


On her blog, Wishful Thinking, Michel Feist takes lovely photos of everyday-type things that are "amazingly" (i need to expand my vocabulary, as I'm sick of saying amazing) well-composed. Her images vary, but often she uses a shallow depth of field with tons of sparkling bokeh in the background. She posts one photo a day, every day, and for some reason, her images always make me smile, there is something positive about them that's hard to explain.


Brian Ferry's The Blue Hour is a lovely blog that documents his life, mostly through the objects around him. A lot of his shots are of ceilings and food, every day stuff; his composition is ALWAYS spot on and the lighting is perfect. I find it incredibly difficult to take photos of everyday scenes and create a "mood", I'm not sure how he accomplishes this over and over again, but I'm glad he does, his photos never fail to impress. Plus, he makes great mixes on 8track.com.

So this concludes the amazing photography bloggers series - everyone i wrote about is listed on my blogroll, so make sure to check it out periodically. I'll be back tomorrow with a new post. Plus, Things to Read will return next Thursday with new, interesting finds (probably of the book sort).


Places to Go - The Tidal Basin & Jefferson Memorial


Since I started this blog, I've been wondering how long it would take before I started repeating myself. I knew it would happen EVENTUALLY, but I didn't think it would happen this soon (see my previous post here). But last week, I read on this blog, that one of the best places to see the fall colors is the Tidal Basin and the girls love the Jefferson memorial, so it just made sense to check it out. Unfortunately, the colors had not really peaked yet (we went last Wednesday, so they may be much better this week) and much of the Basin was under construction (which ended up being a plus for T, who could have watched cranes all afternoon). Nevertheless, we had a great time, all three kids love the grassy overhang area of the Jefferson Memorial, where you can people watch, water watch, and play in the grass ALL at the same time. Plus, friendly squirrels were everywhere, which made T's afternoon (along with the boating construction). We also managed to go for a walk on the river and check out the George Mason memorial (P made a toybox out of Mason's hat). All in all a great afternoon and we didn't spend a cent.

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Things to Make Tuesday - Easy Crock Pot Recipes


I'm not sure why, but as soon as colder weather comes around, I automatically dust the crock pot off. I think I must like to torture myself with the smell of soon-to-be cooked food throughout the day. Or maybe there's something about a crock pot that brings to mind images of comfort food (chili is its stable after all). Regarding recipes, my favorite cookbook is without a doubt Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook especially Victoria's Lamb Shank Recipe (pictured above). As we're always looking for new, yummy (and easy) ways to cook lamb, which we buy local (along with all of our meat) from farmer's markets and South Mountain Creamery (sorry for the happy animals plug, this is my soapbox issue, and I can be really annoying about it).

But, by far, our favorite tried-and-true crockpot recipe is Crockpot Carnitas, which are not only yummy, but incredibly easy to make - all you need is:
*pork butt (available through South Mountain),
*garlic (5-6 cloves),
*a jalapeno pepper (whole),
*a bunch of cilantro (chopped), and
*beer (1 bottle).

Slice into the pork butt with a small knife and insert the garlic cloves into the meat. Then put everything into the crock pot. Cook until tender on HIGH for 4-6 hours or on LOW for 9-12 hours. Serve taco style with tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, etc.
Recipe from - - http://southernfood.about.com/od/crockpotporkroasts/r/bl10c6.htm. They turn out even better than Chipotle. You can't go wrong (well, unless you're a vegetarian, then this probably isn't for you).

Regarding other recipes, I haven't tried this one yet, but Foodie Mama always has good (easy) suggestions.

What's your favorite crock pot recipe? I'd love to hear!!


Places to Go - The National Arboretum's Fern Valley, Capitol Columns, & Youth Garden (Washington D.C.)

Fern Valley

A few years ago, the National Arboretum was our go-to place for outdoor adventures. We practically lived there. Then we took a break from it for awhile (as you're likely to do with any place you spend too much time in).

On Tuesday, we went back for the first time in a few months and, yet again, I was BLOWN AWAY by how beautiful the arb is. It's truly Washington D.C.'s hidden treasure as NOBODY EVER GOES THERE. Last Tuesday, we only saw one other person on the trail (security cars routinely drive through the property, so you never feel unsafe). If you are a couple without kids, I can think of few things more romantic than an autumn walk through one of the arb's gardens.

The arb is actually bigger than NYC's Central Park, making it almost impossible to see the whole thing in one day. Luckily, the arb is divided into sections (with separate parking areas), so you can see something new on each visit. On Tuesday, we visited Fern Valley and the Capitol Columns. In the last few years, Fern Valley has had a major upgrade and there are now beautiful wooden bridges overlooking the stream as well as a large beautifully landscaped meadow connecting Fern Valley to the Capitol Columns. The stroller ride through Fern Valley can be bumpy, but it is stroller accessible (trail maps indicate which pathways have stairs).

The fountains at the Columns are under repair, but when functioning they serve as a great place to take children, who love to put their feet in the water (for better or worse). Further, the Washington Youth Garden sits across the street from Fern Valley. The Youth Garden has tons of fun stuff, including a lovely butterfly section (no butterflies in late October) and a worm composter (so we talked about compost for awhile). Plus cotton plants. All in all a great day. And it's free. What a deal.

Fern Valley's Meadow - I love when they hold hands and brush each other's hair.

The Capitol Columns We spent almost an hour alternating between lying in the grass looking at the columns and running through the fields.

The Washington Youth Garden - Cotton & butterflies. I think seeing cotton grow confused the children, as F asked "so how does that become this (pointing to her dress)?" Sadly, I barely know the answer (something about spinning wheels?), so much for living of the grid.


Things to Do - Put Candy in the Pinata

birthday copy

I don't know about everyone else but planning my kids' birthday parties really stresses me out. Children's birthday parties are sort of like the bar exam -if you do too well, you feel like a loser because you could have studied less; if you fail you feel like a loser because failing stinks. So the goal is to JUST PASS. Last year, we went a little crazy and booked the Great Zucchini (yup, that would be MY PICTURE on the first page of his website), who was AMAZING. But this year we wanted to scale down. So I planned a party at Hidden Pond Nature Center. All things considered, everything went well enough - live animals, fishing with nets, crappy pizza, and a princess cake. But NOBODY EVER TOLD ME THAT YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR OWN CANDY IN THE PINATA. Truth be told, I did wonder why it was so light, but I chose to ignore any thoughts of concern. Oh well, watching all the children pull the strings and wait was sort of amusing. In a mean way. Luckily, it was at the end of the party, so someone started handing out goodie bags and the children all left in perplexed confusion. Now I know.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

If you're looking for something funny this is making it's way around the web. If you've ever considered going to law school or if you're already a lawyer, you really have to see it.

If you're looking for something beautiful, I love the photographs from the 10/10/10 project.

If you're looking for something inspiring and positive and happy - this seems like such a great idea.

And, if you're looking for something to do (in the DC area), this blog always has great suggestions.


Things to Read Thursday - Amazing Photography Bloggers II - Linda Crayton & Max Wagner

My husband and I were married about five and a half years ago and we didn't have a wedding photographer. At the time, when I thought of wedding photography I pictured very posed, Owen Mills-type portraits, which can be beautiful, but not really my style. I wanted more of a photojournalist, capture-the-moment type vibe, so we put disposal cameras on every table and, honestly, I was pretty happy with how many of the photos came out. The downsides being that all the photos are less than one megapixel (i.e. no photos larger than 4x6) and none of them came out "just right" (if that makes sense). Well, as you probably know, in the last five years the world of photojournalist/creative/artistic wedding and portrait photography has exploded and there are several great photographers who specialize in never posing people in obvious ways. I admire many of them (and spend A LOT of time following their websites and blogs). But the BEST OF THE BEST, by far, are Linda Crayton and Max Wagner. So that's my introduction, let's get to the photos.


Linda Crayton is a local (DC area) photographer who simply amazes me. All of her photos have a very natural look, yet she always manages to get the perfect shot from the perfect angle with the perfect aperture. None of her shoots ever looks routine or cookie cutter, so when viewing her pictures you always feel as if you have a real sense of the family or couple. I regularly check her blog (which she updates frequently) for inspiration. I highly recommend it. And if you live in the area, I think a photoshoot with her would be beyond wonderful.


Max Wanger's photos are beyond creative, he has truly made wedding and portrait photography into an art form. I have no idea how someone can be that inventive day after day. Plus, I love the way he uses dream-like colors in his work. He updates his blog frequently, plus he sells beautiful screen printed t-shirts based on his photographs in addition to prints and postcards of his work.


Places to Go - The National Mall Carousel (Washington D.C.)

The National Mall Carousel

The Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

Lately, we've been going on a lot of adventures with friends. Which is great, but sometimes it's nice to have a little time exploring with just me and the kids, especially since none of my children have preschool on Tuesdays. The girls love the ridiculously overpriced National Mall carousel ($2.50 per person) and I love the Hirshhorn sculpture gardens (perhaps my favorite place in DC) and since they're next to each other, the combo makes for a pretty wonderful "family" day (minus poor Dad, who has to work all the time lately). Plus, the Smithsonian gardens in front of the "castle" have several lovely fountains. Unlike everywhere else on the National Mall, there's almost always two-hour paid parking in front of the Hirshhorn (plus, no need to carry change anymore, with the new credit cards meters).

We also used this opportunity to try out T's backpack/leash for the first time. I actually bought the backpack for P when she was about two years old, but the only person she would let "walk" her was F, and a three year old walking a two year old makes for some SLOW GOING. Luckily, T seemed to love his little backpack. Well, at least for the first hour. and it did make is slightly easier to keep everyone together. Slightly being the key word.


I love watching the kids when they all play together - hugging, swinging on poles (clean your minds people), running like airplanes, and checking out the fall leaves.



Things to Make Tuesday - Leaf Etchings


So lately, F's been really into making leaf etchings (i.e. I have received over thirty leaf etching as presents and there is no reason to think the trend is nearing an end). I wish I could take credit, but apparently Special Agent Osso taught her this skill. I should, as measure of solidarity in the mommy blogger community, use this opportunity to write about how ashamed I am that my children watch TV (or, even better, keep them from watching it). And, honestly, we really do try to limit TV to just a few hours a week. But some of the TV out there is just so good that I can't complain. She walked around all afternoon spelling slide after watching WordWorld. And, yes, I realize that TV is no excuse for actual parental involvement. But some days, it just works. Enough said. However you feel on the kids/TV issue, hopefully everyone thinks leaf etchings are fun. So go grab a leaf, put it under a piece of paper and rub a crayon over it. It's fall, after all (I do love a cheesy rhyme).


Places to Go - Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake (Annapolis, MD)




So when one of my friends mentioned taking the kids on a pirate cruise, I was somewhat hesitant, as F is not exactly a pirate fan. Further, F's reasons for disliking pirates are actual quite astute -"Mom, don't pirates kill and hurt people and take their stuff? Why am I SUPPOSED to like them?" The adult part of me wanted to say "wow, F, that's an incredibly mature way to react, I completely understand what you're saying and I'm so proud of you for trying to find better role models." BUT, the kid part of me remembered that my dream in life is to take the whole family on Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney World (yes, I used to have bigger dreams, but I've tried to forget them). So instead of acting as a mature adult, I opted for the BIG LIE, "well, F, sure some pirates are mean, just like some people are mean, but several pirates are REALLY NICE and try to help people, these are the nice pirates." And then I tried to erase every NPR story on Somalia from my head. Along with words like "rape", "pillage", and "historical inaccuracy".

Luckily, my efforts were not in vain, as Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake was CRAZY CRAZY FUN. Seriously, look at F's face in the pictures. She was literally jumping (yes, jumping) for joy within five minutes of leaving the dock. Regarding the boat itself, it's not really that great (there aren't even bathrooms on board), dinky might be a better word. But the actors really do ALL they can to make the cruise fantastic and they succeed in every way. Every child on the boat was enthralled by them. In the course of 75 minutes, we managed to knock Pirate Pete (the "bad" pirate) off his boat using "water cannons" (so cool), find a "buried treasure" (there is literally an "X" floating in the water), learn plenty of pirate stories and lore; plus - raise a flag, run in circles and learn "the pirate cheer." If any of this sound cheesy, well it is, but for four - eight year olds it was pure MAGIC. Though, I should note that some of the kids under three were a little scared (though the pirates did everything they could to try and make them feel as comfortable as possible).

The cruise sells out, so you need to make reservations weeks in advance (they have a generous cancellation policy). Tickets are $18 per person and worth every dime. It's also a big hit for birthday parties. If you show up half an hour early (I was late, of course) they'll apply makeup and tattoos and dress the kids up like pirates. So cool. Plus, family friendly restaurants are a short walking distance from the dock, so you can make a day (or evening) of it.



Things to Do - Take a Pony on a Walk


I took these photos this spring, so they're not exactly "current." After yesterday's post on photography bloggers, I wanted to end the week with some of my better photographs, so here you go. Not much to say about walking a pony to preschool, other than LEAVE EARLY (pony walks take a lot of time) and prepare to bathe them at the end of the day (apparently this is why you should never rid yourself of a baby bathtub). Seriously, the best days are often the most random days.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll be back on Monday. And if you need some inspiration for your weekend - check out my "mix tape" here.


Things to Read Thursday - Amazing Photography Blogs (Part I) - Mary Robinson & Sabino

I'm out of children's books suggestions for awhile. Okay, so that's a lie, I could recommend children's books every day for the rest of the year, as they seem to dominate my life lately. Truthfully, I just thought it was time for a change. So for the next few weeks, I'll be hosting a series of posts on my favorite photography blogs.

I took up photography as a hobby about four years ago (right after my husband bought me my first SLR camera) and life has never been the same since (wow, I sound even cheesier than usual). When I'm not taking pictures, I spend a lot of time on flickr and the web trying to find photographers who inspire me (many of whom are listed on my blogroll). Of course, the downside of always searching for inspiration is it leads one to constantly question his/her own talent. but then again, I'm learning. and sometimes learning is the best part. Okay, enough said, time for some truly wonderful photos -

balloons butterfly_0014

beljo st mtn kim ani_0014

balloons butterfly_0004

isabel creek_0004


Mary Robinson is a 17 old who must ooze creativity out of every pour. Most of her photos involve her sisters and friends in various poses around the neighborhood by her house. Her photos amaze me in that they're all similar yet each photo can stand completely on its own. In other words, her work definitely has a signature to it, but it never becomes repetitive or boring. I especially love how she sometimes incorporates small objects - butterflies and/or tiny-dimestore animals into her work. She just published a book - available at http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1542784 and she sells her prints for INCREDIBLY reasonable prices. I literally cannot stop looking at her work. I log onto her blog almost daily, which she updates at random times.

Sabino's photographs are all very different but yet very similar in that they all make one feel as if something is being alluded to; as if a story, an important story, is being told, yet some of the characters are slightly out of reach. A sense of mystery if you will. Plus, I love how carefully crafted everything in the frame is. I often think how if any of these photos appeared on a book jacket, I would immediately buy the book, regardless of the author or title. Sabino also has a wonderful tumblr account in which he showcases the work of other photographers.

Have a great Thursday everyone! I'll be posting tomorrow. And remember to check back in next Thursday for two more wonderful photography bloggers.


Places to Go - Claude Moore Colonial Farm Market Fair (McLean, VA)

colonial farm

This weekend Claude Moore Colonial Farm hosts its autumn market fair and if you haven't had a chance to visit yet, I highly suggest you check it out. At the farm, the year stays perpetually 1771 and you are but a small family farmer trying to make your way in the world. Upon arrival at the farm, you follow a dirt path (it's somewhat stroller accessible, but there are a lot of bumps in the dirt path, so if you have young children a carrier may be best) through tobacco fields and past lingering chickens until you arrive at the farmhouse. For anyone who has ever thought that their house is too small (and i feel this daily) a visit to the farmhouse is quite the reality check. The whole house is about the size of a small modern-day bedroom - with a kitchen downstairs and a sleeping area lofted above.

After you visit the farm, the wonders of modern day living will become abundantly clear. For example, we last toured the farm in the summer (hence the sundresses in the pictures) and witnessed one of the farm's female volunteers cooking inside over an open flame in 90 degree heat - how unfun is that? (By the way, if you're a photographer, the house is a wonderful place to take pictures, tons of filtered natural light through the windows makes everything glow). The farm also has cows and pigs and a few crops beside tobacco. For more information - http://www.1771.org/. Self-guided tours are offered throughout the year.

The best time to visit, however, is on one of the three occasions in May, July, and October when the farm hosts a market fair. A market fair is like a small, toned-down renaissance festival (yes, there are people in costume, but they don't lord their roles over you). The fair has a variety of activities for children and adults - fencing demos, puppet shows, a tightrope walker (who was amazing I must add), CHEAP beer, wonderful food (grilled over an open fire), a craft section for children, various games (the three-legged race with their cousins was one of the highlights of the girls' summer), etc. Plus the fair is small enough that you don't have to be super-vigilant about watching your children (i.e. you can RELAX a little and have fun). I can't say enough good things. My husband literally looks forward to these for weeks ahead of time and has started to invite all his friends to come with us. Admission if $5 for adults and $2.50 for children, but if use the attached link, there's a 50% off coupon - http://www.1771.org/market_fair.htm. It's really a great deal.



Things to Make Tuesday- Chewy Oatmeal Blondies


As I've mentioned, I'm not a huge baker, but when fall comes around it always feels nice to turn the oven on and "create" something. I've learned that, with kids, the best recipes have MULTIPLE EASY steps. This way both F & P stay entertained. One of our favorite cookiesque recipes is Martha Stewart's Chewy Oatmeal Blondies. Luckily the recipes calls for Everyday Baking mix, so one child can mix this, while child number two combines butter and sugar and coats the pan. Two children proudly at work. So convenient. After we mix everything, everyone (including the baby) has a spoon or beater to lick. And, if we make enough of the baking mix ahead of time, I have a backup treat for playdates and rainy days that I can throw together in minutes. So easy. And yummy.


Things to Do - Make a Grateful List (September edition)

green comp

Okay, so despite loving my life and my family and all that stuff (blah blah blah), sometimes I get rather down. I think we all do. In order to try and keep the "downs" away, every month I make a grateful list of 25 things that make me happy. I originally got the idea from this book - The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections, which is such an amazing read. On the same note, right after the girls' bedtime story (after we turn out the lights), I ask them to think of three things they're grateful for. Every day. Usually they say the expected (family, friends, teddy bears, etc.), but I still think it's nice to try and remember the good things. on a daily basis. so dorky, i know. But, as you've probably noticed, I'm rather dorky (if you're cool and you read this blog, please don't go away). So here's my Top 25 Grateful List from September. Feel free to take inspiration from it. Or scoff. Just not too loudly, I'm a sensitive sort.

(By the way, the pictures and the list don't really correlate, except all the pics were taken in September).

1. Finally, turning off the air conditioning and feeling the breeze through the windows
2. Picking our own potatoes at Great Country Farms
3. Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, MD (this place is awesome)
4. Date night at Evening Star with good friends
5. My husband riding his bike to work every day (he's so so much happier now)
6. The baby dancing to Taio Cruz's Dynamite
7. Duck donuts We lived on these at the beach. I ate over three a day, seriously they're that good. (but they're only available in the Outer Banks, so sad)
8. F's seashell collection
9. P spotting a crab (a big crab) and designating herself a "beach explorer"
10. Walking the girls to school in the morning and looking for "signs of fall"
11. The sound of the ocean, especially at night with the windows open
12. T (the baby) walking his froggy pull-toy everywhere
13. The Artful Parent mentioning my blog
14. The girls looking at old photo albums and F telling P "no, T wasn't born yet, YOU were the baby."
15. Pepsi throwback
16. F dancing to bluegrass at Cox Farm's fall festival (she really got her groove on)
17. Clarins' self-tanner (help for the truly pale)
18. Jenga and mariachis on Val's birthday
19. The History of Love
20. Discovery Toys Wiz Kidz Card Game - my kids love this game (especially F, the almost 5 year old, we played for hours on our vacation)
21. Whenever you ask F or P where they live they always say "Virginia the United States of America"
22. When babies fall asleep in the nook of your shoulder
23. Mondays (all three kids go to preschool on Mondays, so I get the morning off) & Tuesdays (all three kids are home from preschool so we all get to spend the day together)
24. Bachelor Pad (everyone needs a guilty pleasure)
25. My dad's health (it's not perfect, but all in all he's doing okay)

How about everyone else? Anything you're grateful for this month? I'd love to hear. Or, anyone have any additional ideas for trying to stay happy and positive?

Have a great weekend everyone! Monday is a holiday but I'll be back on Tuesday with new posts!


Things to Read Thursday - Children's Books For Fall


Ages 2.5-7 (Approximately). The books closest to the top are best for younger children, whereas the books closest to the bottom are best for older children

Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin   [PLUMPLY DUMPLY PUMPKIN-BOARD] [Board Books]
My children used to love love this board book when they were younger. The author uses a lot of sound repetition ("plumply, dumply pumkin" and "lumpy, bumpy ... not stumpy, grumpy") which can be fun as kids as kids increase their vocabulary. Plus, the book serves as a nice introduction to one of the fundamentals of halloween and autumn - turning a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern.

Little Monsters: Pop-up Book (Minipops)
This isn't exactly an "autumn" book but monsters appear on every page, making it fun for halloween. The book is short, without much of a story, just a lot of pop-up-monsters, but my kids like to play with the pop-ups. We bought it when P was 2.5 and she wouldn't stop opening and closing the pages.

Fall Is Not Easy
This is a very sweet little book about a tree that can't get its fall colors right. Due to its short length, this book may be best for younger kids (under the age of 4); F doesn't like to read it because calls it a "baby book," despite the non-board book format.

Green Eyes (Family Storytime)
When the girls were 3 and 4 we read this book ALL the time. While not explicitly a "fall" book, I'm recommending it due to the fact that it deals with the changing season. In particular, it chronicles the experiences of one cat, Green Eyes, during her first year of life.

It's Fall (Celebrate the Seasons)
Last year the girls kept asking questions about fall and the seasons, so I researched several books dealing with the topic. Linda Glaser's It's Fall was one of the most recommended. Unfortunately, my kids never really liked this book. The illustrated child is a little odd looking (he's sort of cartoonish and sort of realistic - see the top picture above) so maybe that's why. But every time I read it to them, F says "let's put it away and find another book."

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf
This is another book that came highly recommended, unfortunately this book isn't really about fall (despite the cover art), rather the story centers on the life-cycle of a tree, from a seed to a nursery to a garden center to a home. It reads at times like a child's science book. A nice enough story, but not a huge hit with my children.

Big Pumpkin
This is F's current favorite book and we've been reading it every night. The story is simple with lots of repetition (almost every page has the phrase "it's big and it's mine, but it's stuck on the vine, and Halloween's just hours away") which kids seem to like. Plus, it introduces ghosts and vampires and mummies in a completely non-scary way, leading to many discussions about what a ghost is, whether they really exist, whether halloween is scary, etc.

Ox-Cart Man
This is another book that deals with seasons, starting with October when the ox-cart man fills up his cart "with everything [his family] made or grew all year long that was left over." A nice introduction to semi-off-the-grid life for children (and, as I've already posted about) I'm obsessed with people who live off the grid.

Count Down to Fall
A very simple book that details the different types of leaves that you see in fall with really lovely illustrations and catchy little rhymes. My goal is to use it for a "leaf scavenger hunt" when more of the trees start to change color.

Where the Wild Things Are
This is a classic, so I'm sure almost everyone has read it at one point or another. Though not exactly a fall book per se it has lovely illustrations of monsters, so if your kids haven't read it yet, halloween might be the perfect time to check it out.

How about everyone else? Any recommended fall books? I'd love to hear them!
Regarding the photos -
Left corner of top photo - Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin, top right corner of top photo - It's Fall (Celebrate the Seasons), top left corner of middle photo - Little Monsters [POP UP-LITTLE MONSTERS], bottom right corner of middle photo - Fall Is Not Easy


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